Yale Himalaya Initiative

environment | livelihood | culture

Harnessing Himalayan Sun: Building a Functioning Solar Ecosystem in Nepal to Improve Livelihoods

Event time: 
Friday, March 4, 2016 - 7:00pm
Room 202, Luce Hall See map
34 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

​Eli Mitchell-Larson

Director of Operations, SunFarmer

Nepal is blessed with all the right ingredients for a successful distributed solar market: abundant year-round insolation, limited rural electrification, an overloaded national electrical grid, and huge latent demand for electricity. In remote communities, hospitals and schools operate without lights or key machinery. Even in the capital of Kathmandu, the hum of diesel generators has become the norm as rolling blackouts affect people and businesses over half the time. Solutions are desperately needed to improve livelihoods, both rural and urban, with better energy access. Despite the enormous opportunity for solar energy, many financial, regulatory, political, and technological challenges remain. Eli will discuss these challenges, and SunFarmer’s successes and failures in addressing them with a unique approach to solar development in Nepal. The talk will focus on overcoming the barriers to wider adoption of solar energy in Nepal, with specific examples drawn from SunFarmer projects, as well as applications to the broader Himalayan region.

In his role at SunFarmer, Eli leads efforts to expand to new markets in the Himalayan and Southeast Asian regions. Prior to joining SunFarmer, Eli was an Associate at New Island Capital, an environmental and social impact investment firm focused on advancing renewable energy and sustainable agriculture. Eli worked across renewables project finance, private lending, and real assets investments, working on deal teams to deploy more than $125 million across 14 direct investments. Eli holds a BS in Geology & Geophysics and Environmental Studies from Yale University.

Pictures from the event: Click here